Bella has always known she was different. She was born in the 24th century when much turmoil plagues the world. She has always known what made her so different from her friends and that she had to keep it a secret. What happens when tragedy strikes and she finds herself moving in with her godfather in Forks, Washington, where she meets Edward and his family?
Bella was not the only one keeping a secret. The Cullens have their own secret, and when Bella comes into their lives, their world was turned upside down as Edward falls in love with her and soon was telling Bella their secret.
Maribella McGregor's POV
Saturday, 1 May 1921
With head held high, I stormed out of the laird's solar, passed the guard, and out of the keep. I kept walking, smiling at my fellow clansmen as if nothing was wrong. No one could know my plight. I had to appear to be the obedient daughter of a laird out for a stroll in the courtyard.
A piercing scream escaped me once I was at the ruined pagan kirk deep in the woods. One wall nothing but memory, but the stone outline could be seen if time was taken to thin the weeds growing wildly inside and outside the kirk. I ran my hand lovely over the stone wall, avoiding debris from the felled roof. The peace of the ruins normally calmed me, but I was mad at parents.
My father was being impossible, and my mother was just as bad. They were blind to what everyone else saw—I was in love with my fourth cousin, Ewan Malcolm McGregor. Ewan even asked for my hand in marriage and Father said no. My speaking to Father and Mother was of no use. Father would not listen to me, and Mother, though sympathetic, sided with him. My parents wanted to me to marry Ewan's older, Iain, but I didn't see a future with Iain, nor did he see one with me.
Despite what my parents wanted, I would marry Ewan, and at the risk of being disowned. Uncle McCullough would take us both in; he said as much during his last visit. He saw what Mother and Father refused to see. I was also keeping a secret from Mother and Father—I was a witch, a full-blooded magical witch; only Uncle McCullough knew and said it was best to keep it between the two of us. I couldn't keep such a secret from Ewan, or even Iain, for that matter, and it turns out they are both wizards, wand-waving wizards. They are powerless without their wands.
June could not get her fast enough. I hated the fact I was going to defy my father, but he gave me little choice. Uncle McCullough promised to talk to him.
Ewan McGregor's POV
There was something wrong with the chieftain, and I was afraid for Maribella. When I spoke with him a fortnight and a half ago, he had said he wished for her to marry someone she loved. He further alluded to the fact I would be the perfect man for her. I hadn't staked a claim for her then and had taken the time to think about my possible future with the laird's daughter. Three days have passed since I approached him, asking his for Maribella's hand. Instead of the yes I was seeking, I was shown the door and told I wasn't good enough for his daughter.
My heart ached after the conversation, and when I told Maribella, she said not to worry. We made plans to marry secretly. She hoped her father would be swayed into letting us marry. Not the impression I got. The whispers I heard yesterday in the stables hinted at the fact that his lairdship was speaking with my brother, Iain, about marrying Maribella.
Confronting my elder brother had confirmed the rumors and only served to infuriate me.
"I know how you feel about Maribella, brother. I would never stab you in the back by marrying her," Iain said.
"Did you tell his lairdship that?" I asked.
"I did. He's insistent on me marrying her, though."
My reflections were interrupted when Maribella walked by, looking at me with a false smile plastered on her face, but it was the haunted look in her eyes that made me follow. I threw my pitchfork at the pile of hay, and it took root much like an arrow protruding from a stag. Iain met me in the center of the yard.
"What do you suppose happened?" Iain asked in a low voice as we followed at a distance.
"She planned on speaking with his lairdship," I whispered in reply.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Iain look down at the ground and shake his head.
I continued to watch Maribella. When she entered the woods, I knew where she was heading.
"She going to the old kirk," I said. "Continue toward home."
Iain cleared his throat in acknowledgement.
After rounding the bend in the road, we walked into the woods and approached the ruined building from the south. My heart was sitting on a fallen stone pillar with her back to me when Iain and I found her. Iain motioned for me to go to her.
"Maribella," I said.
She turned facing me, her cheeks wet with tears.
"He won't listen to reason," she said.
My heart ached even more than it already did seeing Maribella so distraught. Saying nothing, I sat next to her, drawing her into my arms.
"He wants me to marry your brother."
I couldn't admit to knowing, so I held her closer, whispering. "Mo chroí, things will turn out fine. We will marry."
She pulled away slightly, peering up at me. "I don't think we will. My father..."
I kissed her, silencing her. "Hush, a ghrá, Iain will refuse you," I said against her lips.
"Someone nears," Iain yelled from the doorway.
I peered over my left shoulder, Iain was drawing his dirk.
Turning back to Maribella, I asked, "Did anyone know you were coming here?"
She shook her head. "I did set a protection spell," she whispered. "If it didn't warn me, then whoever approaches doesn't mean any harm."
A familiar face soon joined us. Laird McCullough, Maribella's lowland uncle. "Lads, lass, I fear my brother-in-law has gone mad. He's never been one to stand in the way of love," he said, taking a seat on another of the fallen stones. "And I fear we cannot wait until next month to see you two wed." He looked over at where I sat with my arm around Maribella.
"The priest will not be here until then," Iain remarked.
Fresh tears appeared in my heart's eyes as she glared at her uncle.
"There is no need for a priest that is in Laird McGregor's coffers," Laird McCullough said.
He cupped his mouth with his hands and gave a high-pitched, whistling call of an osprey. It was returned a moment later.
"My clan's priest traveled with me," Laird McCullough explained. "He is willing to go against McGregor's orders."
"Why?" I asked.
"The future depends on us," Maribella answered, and she said no more when I once again asked why nor did her uncle.
Less than ten minutes later, Maribella and I were husband and wife.
"I can give you two hours," Laird McCullough said, pushing Maribella and I out of the kirk. "Maribella must be in attendance for the evening meal."
I nodded, understanding. My marriage to Maribella must be kept secret for the time being.
Once my wife and I were at a small, abandoned hovel, she spoke.
"If my father…"
I silenced her with a kiss.
"He'll disown you, and we'll escape to the lowlands if that happens."
There was no further discussion about the laird finding out.
I delivered Maribella back into her uncle's hand with five minutes to spare. With a quick goodbye, I watched her walk away not knowing when I would see her next or how long it would be before his lairdship disowned her for our defiance.